community-capacity

Building Community Capacity

This guest post is written by Nicole Enns, a third-year marketing student at the University of Calgary. In simple terms, community capacity is what makes communities “work”. It is the concept of a community working collectively to manage its human capital, develop its resources, and drive change from within. Defining Community Yet, if you dig deeper, community capacity is actually …

Ottawa-shooting-lockdown

The Single Most Important Thing We Can Learn from the Ottawa Lockdown

Last Wednesday’s events in Ottawa – the deadly shooting of a soldier at the War Memorial, the violent showdown with the shooter inside Centre Block of Canada’s Parliament, and the all-day manhunt around the hotel, shopping centre, and area surrounding Parliament Hill – put a spotlight on everything from national security, international politics, and mental health to public safety protocols, …

vost-virtual-operations-support-team

The Rise of the Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST)

The acronym VOST stands for Virtual Operations Support Team. VOST members are becoming increasingly critical to the successful management of emergencies and disasters. Their efforts help facilitate the recovery from these disruptions through modern communication technologies, especially social media like Twitter, Facebook and other messaging services. They provide support through internet connected devices to workers at emergency and disaster scenes, …

Business continuity lessons from the Moncton and Boston manhunts

Last week in Moncton, New Brunswick, a 24-year-old gunman went on a rampage shooting five RCMP officers, killing three of them and severely injuring the other two. The incident began at 7:20pm and the ensuing manhunt carried on for 28 hours until he was captured. As chronicled on Wikipedia: “Up to 300 police personnel were involved in the search. Pedestrians and …

lisle-verte-fire-seniors

L’Isle Verte Highlights the Importance (and Degree of Difficulty) of Emergency Planning at Seniors’ Homes

While the small Quebec town of L’Isle Verte mourns, recovery crews are painstakingly de-icing and picking through the wreckage of what remains of the Résidence du Havre seniors’ home. 32 people – seniors in their 80s and 90s – are presumed dead from a fire that ravaged the building late last Wednesday night in frigid and blustery winter conditions. It’s a …

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Drop the Bullhorn, Pick Up the Phone – A Better Way to Organize Volunteer Relief in a Crisis

On June 24, 2013, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, megaphone in hand, greeted a throng of up to 6000 eager volunteers assembled at McMahon Stadium. All were there to assist, wherever and however they could, in a city and a province reeling from the worst natural disaster ever in its recorded history. Floodwaters had submerged Calgary’s core, including its municipal offices, …

evolution-of-internal-communications

The Essential Evolution of Internal Communications

Next to eating and procreating, the oldest, most fundamental aspect of being human is probably finding a way to let other humans know something important – or even just interesting. After all, humans are social beings, and the most basic element of any type of communication is all about sharing information to facilitate our social interaction. Let’s take a look …